Putin, in Interview With Tucker Carlson, Pushes Nazi Narrative for Outbreak of World War II

Interlocutor fails to call out Putin on his line that blames Poland for Hitler’s invasion in 1939.

Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin pool photo via AP
A former Fox News host, Tucker Carlson, interviews President Putin at the Kremlin, February 6, 2024. Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin pool photo via AP

Poland “forced Hitler to start World War II with them,” the Kremlin leader, Vladimir Putin, told Tucker Carlson in their interview at Moscow, and the famed journalist failed to call out the point.

Mr. Carlson posted the interview on his website and on X, telling his audience to view it “as a sincere expression of what [Putin] thinks.”

About 15 minutes into the interview, Mr. Putin says, “The Poles forced, they played too long and forced Hitler to start World War II with them. Why did the war begin with Poland on September 1, 1939?” 

Mr. Putin answers his own question: “Poland was uncooperative. Hitler had nothing else to do in the realization of his plans but to start with Poland.” Mr. Carlson did not interject. Mr. Putin continued to relay his version of Russian history.

Adolf Hitler and the Nazis justified their invasion of Poland with propaganda claiming that Poland was persecuting ethnic Germans and planned to encircle and destroy Germany. Sixteen days after Nazi Germany began the war, the Soviet Union also invaded from the east.

Mr. Putin blames Ukraine for triggering the current war and says, “Our borders should be along the borders of former Soviet Union’s republics.” 

By assigning blame to Poland for Hitler’s invasion of Poland and to Ukraine for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Mr. Putin identifies the Russian cause with that of Nazi Germany.

At various points in the interview, the Kremlin leader mentions “neo-Nazis” in Ukraine and the need for its “denazification.” The irony speaks for itself.

An advisor to Ukraine’s internal affairs minister, Anton Gerashchenko, asks in a post, “What do you think of this interview, dear Polish followers?”

A senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund, Michal Baranowski, offers a reply: “Replace Hitler with Putin, and Poland with Ukraine, and we have the situation from February 2022. Familiar story.”


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